• Tanner

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

A picture of me in Keith's Cacao warehouse with about 300 pounds of cacao paste. This was the day Kristin and I picked up our order of 150 pounds to bring back to Canada.

It took us quite a while to use up the 150 pounds of cacao we brought back from our trip to Guatemala in 2015. When we eventually did start to run low we placed several orders with Keith and Barbara in 2016 for 30 and 40 pounds to allow us to continue sharing #cacaoceremonies. We really had to plan ahead as the turnaround time between placing the order and receiving the cacao was about 2 months.

Kristin with a glowing smile after we picked up one box of Keith's Cacao from the post office in Duncan, BC, Canada.

We loved receiving the packages of #ceremonialgradecacao from Guatemala with all the stamps required to have it sent from there to Canada. We were invited to share #cacaoceremony in several different communities near where we live on Vancouver Island. One of our favorites was sharing a #cacaoceremony and sound journey in a tipi with our soul sister, Astaria Light. We’d never offered a #ceremony in a tipi before and it was a bit tricky to tend the fire as well as co-facilitate the sound journey! Just like always we learned a lot about when, where and how we’d choose to do things in the future. It’s been pretty awesome to be invited to share unique and fun offerings in many places around the planet. We've learned a lot about discernment about deciding which events make the most sense energetically so that we are able to maintain balance and harmony in our lives as ceremonialists.

Astaria, Kristin and I outside the tipi before our cacao ceremony and sound journey in Sooke, BC, Canada.

You can feel the goodness in these blocks of cacao paste! Notice how they all look so different? It's called bloom.

When Kristin and I placed our next order with Keith’s Cacao in September of 2016 we were notified by Barbara that the Guatemalan postal service was on strike and that it might take a few weeks for them to sort out the shipping. We never thought too much about it until they contacted us a few weeks later saying they were refunding our order and that they weren’t sure when the postal service would be back up and running. We felt a bit confused about not being able to obtain this wonderful heart medicine. We had grown very fond of the consistent high quality and medicinal effects of sharing #keithscacao in our #ceremonies. We scheduled a few more ceremonies at the end of 2016 with the intention us using up the last of our reserves of Keith’s Cacao and then taking a break to reassess all things #cacao related.

A picture from an amazing cacao ceremony we co-facilitated in Tofino, BC, Canada with Astaria in 2016.

Toward the end of 2016 Kristin started exploring taking a yoga teacher training program at the yoga ashram in Pennsylvania where she had lived for 6 months in her early 20’s, called the Himalayan Institute. While exploring their website she was looking at the different members of their global outreach program and she decided to click on one man’s Facebook profile. She was amazed to discover pictures of cacao trees and pods on his profile! One of Kristin's old friends from the ashram had suggested that we get to know this man who had started a coffee and cacao business at the yoga ashram. We thought it must be a wink from the universe that she happened to find this man’s information after we had been unable to obtain more cacao from Guatemala.

Our curiosity was piqued so Kristin reached out to the man whose Facebook profile she had found, who runs a company called MOKA Origins at the Himalayan Institute's USA campus in Pennsylvania. We were interested to try some of the #cacao that they use to make chocolate bars with as he had several sources that seemed very intriguing. He agreed to send us #cacao samples of two different varieties, one from the Dominican Republic and another from Uganda. He seemed a bit unclear about what we were using the cacao for and hesitant to send us 100% pure #cacao as their company was so used to mixing it with sugar, nuts and fruit but we reassured him that we only wanted 100% pure #cacaopaste.

This was one of the cacao samples that Jeff from Moka Origins was kind enough to send to us. So amazing to see the different patterns and designs in the cacao paste.

We awaited the arrival of the samples with great anticipation, hoping that we’d found ourselves a new source for #cermonialgradecacao. When the package arrived we we sat down and tried a small piece of the two different varieties of #cacao. One was so sour, astringent and bitter that it almost made our mouths turn inside out when we ate it. The other was SO smooth and delicious that we decided it would be worth investigating the energetic effects of a full #ceremonialdose. When we grated the #cacaopaste into a powder and mixed it into a drink we were pretty happy with the effects of a full #ceremonial dose of this new Ugandan #cacao.

That's a serious chocolate bar! 10 pounds of 100% pure ceremonial grade cacao paste, the largest we'd ever seen!

We ordered 20 pounds of #cacao paste from this source and we used that #cacao to get us through a few last ceremonies we had planned in 2016. We decided to take a couple of months off from hosting #cacaoceremonies to reassess where we were at with things and also because we’d run out of #cacaopaste, so the timing was perfect to take a little break. We had gotten word from my mom, Cori, that she would be attending the #Cacao Convergence in Guatemala in January of 2017 and we asked if she would bring us back as much #KeithsCacao as she could fit into her suitcase!

Each block is about 1 pound of ceremonial grade cacao paste. This was some of the finest tasting 100% pure cacao paste we have ever tasted!

The ”Cacao Fairy”, AKA Mama Cori, came through for us as she was able to bring back enough #ceremonialgradecacao for us to offer ceremonies from February to May of 2017. Kristin and I had decided that we would both take our yoga teacher training that summer in Pennsylvania while visiting her family and friends. We would also get to meet Jeff and get a closer look at the facility where he was making chocolate, which was located at the Himalayan Institute, where we would take our 200- hour yoga teacher training.

The "Cacao Fairy" and her loot that she brought back from the Cacao Convergence in Guatemala in January 2017. What a mama!

  • Tanner

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

A memorable group joined us in Calgary to welcome the new year (2016) with a cacao ceremony!

Kristin and I traveled a LOT in 2015 and as 2016 drew closer we decided to make our way back towards our home base on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. We stopped in Calgary, Alberta to visit friends and family there over the December holidays. During that time we were invited to host a #cacaoceremony in the home of a lovely friend whom we'd known for many years. We decided that a #ceremony on New Years Eve would be a perfect way of honoring all that had happened in the year gone by as well as help to bring more loving intentions forward into the new year ahead.

A bubbling cup of ceremonial grade cacao, ready to be sipped!

Kristin and I had acquired two beautiful new instruments on our travels back to Canada and we were excited to share them with the guests at our new year's eve #cacaoceremony. We had each purchased a quartz crystal singing bowl, one in the key of “F” which is typically associated with the heart chakra and one in the key of ”B” which associates with the crown chakra. We had been experimenting with Tibetan singing bowls for a couple of years and had been working on manifesting crystal singing bowls for quite a while. We felt very blessed to have been given the opportunity to purchase and share these very powerful healing instruments.

A picture of our crystal bowls at a more recent event on Pender Island, BC. These bowls have really gotten around!!

The New Year's #cacaoceremony we hosted in 2016 was a huge hit and started a tradition of doing a #cacaoceremony every year at this time. The shifting of the calendar, although it IS just another day, can be a very powerful time to catapult our dreams and desires into reality if choose to make it that. This year we invited a small group to gather at our new home on Gabriola Island where we shared our intentions for what we were wanting to let go of from 2018 and the things we were most excited to manifest in 2019.

Little did we know but the #cacaoceremony in Calgary would kick start a flurry of #cacaoceremonies for us back home on Vancouver Island. When we returned to the island we were invited to share ceremonies in many new and exciting places and venues. Our first #cacaoceremony in Victoria was to celebrate Valentine's Day, what better way to enjoy some 100% pure #ceremonialgradecacao. We co-facilitated with a lovely woman from Victoria, BC whom we'd met during our #cacaoceremony in Sooke, BC, in 2015, named Tanya Devine. She is an amazing didgeridoo player, sound healer and space holder. Together the three of us hosted the largest #ceremony we've every pulled off to date with a whopping 60 people joining us in sacred space.

Tanya with two of her collection of didgeridoos and other instruments, all of which she is very talented at playing!

After we collaborated with Tanya a second time where we hosted a #cacaoceremony for 40 guests in Victoria, BC we began to receive invitations to co-create events with several talented sound healers in the area.

#cacaoceremony with didgeridoo sound journey performed by Tanya in Victoria, BC.

One of our favorite events from the summer of 2016 was a very intimate outdoor #cacaoceremony that we hosted near Victoria with a lovely woman named Tara who had invited us to share our #medicine in the back yard of her home. It's always been a preference of ours to host #cacaoceremonies in nature during the warm summer months here in #Canada, so this was a real treat! We collaborated with her and the amazing collection of alchemy crystal singing bowls she owned to create a magical #ceremony.

Grateful to Kristin for capturing a moment of the magic from the #cacaoceremony in the forest near Victoria.

Kristin and I also connected with one of our long lost soul sisters in 2016, who also happens to be a very talented sound healer named Astaria Light. Since then we have thoroughly enjoyed co-creating many wonderful gatherings with her. So many people have expressed how much they have loved the #cacaoceremonies and sound journeys that we've co-created with her.

Smudging Astaria prior to a 2017 #cacaoceremony in Port Alberni, British Columbia.

Kristin and I are grateful to have had the opportunity to do some personal growth work in 2014 with an organization called Time To Heal in Duncan, BC who later invited us to host a #cacaoceremony at their newly renovated space in 2016. Through hosting this #cacaoceremony we connected with a woman named Heather who invited us to come and host a #cacaoceremony at her home in Nanaimo, BC. We hosted several gatherings in Nanaimo at Heather's home that summer and we really enjoyed getting to know her and her partner, Andrew.

A snapshot from one of the many women's circles that Kristin has hosted over the years.

2016 was the year that Kristin got the message to start hosting women's circles with #cacao. She hosted a series of 7 #womenscircles that year with #keithscacao, each one focused on a different chakra, starting with the root and ending with the crown. Her courage to step into the unknown was inspiring as she was learning as she went regarding the chakras and their many subtle influences in our bodies and lives. The women's circles were a safe place for women in our community to share time together in sacred space, remembering the many commonalities they all shared and helping many to see themselves and each other with more love and compassion. Does it get any better than that?!

Kristin was invited to lead a workshop about #cacaoceremony at a womens gathering in Squamish, BC in the summer of 2016.

One of the other awesome opportunities that showed up in 2016 was that Kristin got invited to share a workshop about #cacaoceremony as a part of the Conscious Goddess Festival which happened in June, 2016. This was the first offer of this type where she had been asked to share her knowledge of this beautiful plant medicine. It was another time when she said "YES" to life and was willing to take center stage after many years of being afraid of speaking publicly.

The more we both put ourselves out there in 2016 the more connections started to spiderweb, helping us to remember why we call our business Cacao Connection. This is one more of many ongoing examples of how when we show up in the world in an authentic way, that life is waiting to conspire with those of us who are courageous enough to follow our dreams! DREAM BIG!!

  • Tanner

Updated: Feb 18, 2019

This was the name of the location where we hosted our largest cacao ceremony to date!

We had hoped to be able to share some #cacaoceremonies on our drive back up the West Coast of the United States, however, it wasn’t until we returned to Canada that we hosted our first #ceremony outside of Mexico. A wonderful friend of ours who has a yurt invited us to host a ceremony on his property, which seemed like a sweet spot to host our first Canadian gathering.

Celebrating my birthday while we were back in Canada with a #cacao infused cake!

We invited some friends and family members, and in the end there were 7 of us who shared that first #ceremony. Kristin and I learned a lot about ourselves in that first #Canadian #cacaoceremony and how important is is to be properly prepared, with more than enough time, and also what it means to be a solid facilitator. Some of the most challenging experiences we’ve had as facilitators has made us that much stronger and more resilient as we continue to walk this path into the unknown.

One of our closest friends on Vancouver Island made this raw pie with #cacao, it was absolutely divine!

We had been approached by a good friend of ours to participate in a full-day event that was being held in a beautiful community near us that is right on the ocean's edge. We weren’t sure what it would be like, but it sounded exciting, so we agreed to host a #cacaoceremony for a large group there that day. We had never met the owners of the home that the event was being hosted in, however we had heard lovely things about them and the types of events they had hosted in the past.

The altar for our #cacaoceremony in Sooke that was part of a wonderful full day event.

When we arrived in the morning to get prepared we were told that there would be 38 guests for the #cacaoceremony! Wow! This was more than double the size of the largest group we’d ever facilitated for. Luckily for us we had the help of one of our biggest supporters and mentors, my mom, Cori. We had heard that the couple who was hosting the event loved #cacao and were huge advocates for its use as an addition to a vibrant lifestyle. We certainly knew some of the nutritional benefits of using #cacao as an everyday super-food dietary supplement, so it was exciting to meet other people who had similar knowledge.

A picture of Kristin and I before the ceremony, holding 4 pounds of ground #cacaopaste.

I had ground 4 pounds of #keithscacao for the #ceremony that day and thankfully we had mom’s help with getting things prepared in the kitchen. The hosts were almost overly helpful in the kitchen arena. We later reflected on this situation with the understanding that she didn’t have a clue who we were or what we knew about #cacao or ceremonies, so they were committed to seeing that the #cacaoceremony would be loved and appreciated by all who attended.

Warm mugs of #ceremonialgradecacao waiting to be enjoyed.

The #cacaoceremony was a huge hit with the guests and afterword we had #Keithscacao for sale from the 150 pounds we had brought back with us in the trunk of our car from Guatemala. We must’ve sold 30 or 40 pounds that day and when all of the guests who were interested had bought some, the hosts told us that they would buy whatever we had left over!! Wow, this was beyond what we had imagined and truly blew our minds wide open to the possibility of these events being a integral part of our lives.

We made so many wonderful new friends that day and we still continue to meet people who attended that #cacaoceremony that we never met who’ve thanked us for doing it. We recently hosted a small and very intimate full day gathering at this same lovely home in Sooke, BC. The couple had decided to sell their beautiful home and we thought it would be nice to have one last gathering there to share a #cacaoceremony as well as to say our goodbyes to this most wonderful gathering space. A short time after we hosted the #cacaoceremony at their house this summer, the woman of the house passed on from this life. What an honor to have known her and to have been invited to share our #medicine in her home.

A few pictures from our latest #cacaoceremony in Sooke at this beautiful home. Thank you Lulu for sharing your beautiful home with us and for sharing your love and light with the world <3 #wildatheartwoman

Kristin and I had agreed to take another road trip, this being late summer of 2015. After we came back to Canada for just 6 short weeks, we hit the open road, headed for Houston, Texas to spend some time with one of Kristin’s oldest friends who was expecting her first child. We put our suitcase back into the trunk of our trusty VW Jetta and headed back to the United States, not really fully understanding of the magnitude of the next leg of the journey we were embarking on.

Cacao Connection 2020